Think about how much can happen in a year. Now think about how much can happen in 15 of them.
As we approach Venture Atlanta Forward, our 2022 conference, that’s exactly what we’re doing: looking back at all we’ve accomplished since our inaugural event back in 2008. We’re proud to celebrate this milestone by revisiting all of the achievements, growth, challenges, and changes that have made this groundbreaking event what it is today.
Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning, or you’re discovering Venture Atlanta for the first time, we invite you to take a trip with us down memory lane in honor of 15 inspiring years of connecting companies with capital.
Our Founding Companies That Set the Stage (Literally)
Venture Atlanta began as a shared goal among the Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Technology Association of Georgia. Their mission was to bring a premier venture capital event to the state of Georgia, and so these organizations joined forces in 2007 to host the first-ever Venture Atlanta conference in the fall of 2008.
Our premier event welcomed just a couple hundred attendees and 20 investor funds. A humble start—but we knew it was only the beginning. The members of our founding companies believed in the power and influence of Ventura Atlanta; they knew this conference could fill the need for investment dollars in Georgia and beyond.
Venture Atlanta’s Growth Along the Way
15 years later, Venture Atlanta now welcomes 1,200+ attendees and 200+ investor funds. We’ve expanded beyond showcasing Atlanta companies and now welcome the entire Southeast. From as far west as Texas to as far north as D.C., we’ve had an incredible lineup of participating companies from throughout the region.
Not only are we showcasing companies from the Southeast, but we’re making it a priority: Last year, we hit a huge milestone with over 60% of our pitch companies coming from outside of Georgia. What’s more, 12 different states across the Southeast were represented at our 2021 event.
Where the Magic Happens: Our Venues
With more and more companies and investors attending over the years, we’ve had to ensure our venues could accommodate Venture Atlanta’s progressive growth. We're always looking to bring a new and exciting experience to our attendees, too. Our locations over the years reflect those efforts:
- The Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- The W Hotel
- The Georgia Aquarium
- The College Football Hall of Fame
- 200 Peachtree
This year, we’ve upgraded our location once again to The Woodruff Arts Center and Atlanta Symphony Hall. This stunning, modern space encompasses our 2022 theme, Forward, and also represents the uncanny relationship between art and technology.
Notable Board Members Over the Years
In addition to our noteworthy venues, we’ve also had the pleasure and honor of working with notable board members throughout the years. These incredibly talented and hardworking people have helped make Venture Atlanta what it is today. Some of the names you might recognize:
- John Ale – General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners
- Mike Becker, Managing Director of Vocap Partners
- David Cummings, Founder of Atlanta Ventures, Atlanta Tech Village, and more
- Michael Cohn, Managing Partner of Overline
- Andrew Dorman, Partner at Knoll Ventures
- Rob Frohwein, Co-founder of Kabbage and more
- Kelly Gay, Board Chair at OnBoard Inc.
- Linnea Geiss, COO of PDI Software
- Tom Hawkins, Managing Partner at Forte Ventures
- Wayne Hunter, Managing Partner at Harbert Venture Partners
- Paul Iaffaldano, General Partner at Panoramic Ventures
- Mark Johnson, Partner at TTV Capital
- Melanie Leeth, Imlay Foundation
- Philip Lewis, Partner at Fulcrum Equity Partners
- Suneera Madhani, CEO of Stax
- Tino Mantella – President & CEO of Turknett Leadership Group
- Spence McClelland – General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners
- Glenn McGonnigle – General Partner at TechOperators
- Ashish Mistry – Co-Founder & Managing Partner at BLH Venture Partners
- Allen Moseley – Managing General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners
- Phyllis Newhouse, CEO of XSI Co-founder of ShoulderUp
- Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft
- Alan Taetle – General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners
A Spotlight on Our Alumni's Success
Our accomplished board members have helped pave the way for many successful Venture Atlanta participating companies. To date, we have 667 alumni companies that have collectively raised $6.5B in funding and achieved $16B in exits. Some of the biggest funding announcements and exits include:
- Pardot Gets Acquired by ExactTarget for $95 Million
- Vista Equity Backs Salesloft at $2.3 Billion Valuation
- Payments processing platform Stax has announced a $1 billion valuation
- Flock Safety Announces $150M Series E led by Tiger Global
- American Express acquires Kabbage, the rising-star fintech startup for small businesses
- Terminus raises $90M to grow its B2B marketing platform, now valued at around $400M
- ATDC Graduate Florence Healthcare Closes $80 Million Series C Round
- Pindrop Raises $90M
- ParkMobile Gets Acquired by EasyPark Group
To Our Sponsors—We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You
We certainly couldn’t forget our sponsors over the years—Venture Atlanta wouldn't be possible without you! Special thanks to these companies that have sponsored VA every year for the past 15 years:
- Bennett Thrasher
- Harbert Venture Partners
- Noro-Moseley Partners
- TTV Capital
- DLA Piper
- Pacific Western Bank
- Carabiner Communications
- Metro Atlanta Chamber
- Technology Association of Georgia
- Atlanta CEO Council
Last But Certainly Not Least…
We couldn’t have done without the tireless work and support of Venture Atlanta CEO Allyson Eman. She has been leading the way since the beginning, along with our incredible board of directors, and we can’t say thank you enough for everything that you do.
Cheers to 15 Years
Our mission used to be all about connecting companies to capital—and that's still a very important part of what we do. Over the years, however, it’s become even bigger than that. Venture Atlanta is an incredibly valuable networking opportunity and facilitator of connections; both for investors to connect with other investors and for founders to connect with other founders. The event also serves as the connection point for companies to find talent, customers, mentors, partners, M&A opportunities, and so much more.
It’s been an incredible journey, but we’re not slowing down anytime soon! You won’t want to miss this year's event—our biggest and best yet. Subscribe to our newsletter for event updates and be sure to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest conference announcements.
We can’t wait to move Forward with you at Venture Atlanta 2022.